Interesting Pieces on Fitzherbert Street Rebuild Site Halt Section of Work

Work halted on three small squares on the Fitzherbert Street rebuild site after bones and other debris were found late Thursday afternoon.

GHL – Tairawhiti Investments general manager Matt Feisst says the discovery came when Watts and Hughes workers were digging out the final zone in readiness for the foundations and floor slabs when the discovery was made.

Each of the areas was around one metre square and located in the area where the old 2011 building used to stand, close to the Lawson Field Theatre.

“We have protocols in place for this, and these immediately kicked in,” says Mr Feisst. “It is important to us that anything with cultural significance is preserved as quickly as possible.”

Local iwi, the Police and an archaeologist have all been contacted.

An Archaeologist attended the site on Monday morning for further investigation and cleared the findings as remnants from a back-yard abattoir or something similar.

Before the project was started late last year, GHL sought independent advice on whether the site was likely to have any archaeologically significant artefacts.

“The likelihood of us encountering intact archaeological featured during the proposed work was assessed to be low.”

Work continued on the rest of the site following the discovery and has now resumed in the temporarily closed-off area.

It’s not the first time work has stopped on the rebuild site – earlier an old well was found near the Ormond Road and Fitzherbert Street corner, and again protocols kicked in, but it too was later cleared.